hypnosis Hypnotic Trance

School of Professional Hypnosis

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The Hypnotic Trance 

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The Trance State

Take a moment to recall a time when you were in a trance state. Think about how you felt, the sensations and emotions. Perhaps your limbs felt heavy, numb, or even slightly tingling. Your breathing might be more regular and relaxed. The muscles throughout your body are looser, and settled, feeling the gentle tug of gravity a bit more then they usually do. These are the sensation we have when pulled into a trance. As you complete this course keep in mind that your duty as a hypnotist is to guide others and help them reach this state of peaceful relaxation.

Typical Signs Indicating Hypnotic Trance

Hypnosis is not yet an exact science and there are no iron clad rules that definitively indicate you are in a hypnotic trance. However there are many indicators that when present do suggest that a trance may be present as well.

 Stage sign or symptom
 hypnoidal fluttering of the eyelids
  physical relaxation
  closed eyes
  muscular lethargy
 light trance inability to open eyes
  deep, slow breathing
  deepening muscular lethargy
 medium trance glove anesthesia
  partial amnesia
 deep trance can open eyes without affecting trance
  near complete amnesia
  post hypnotic anesthesia and analgesia
  age regression
  post hypnotic hallucinations
  lip pallor

Lethargy - One of the characteristics of this level of hypnotism is the tendency of muscles to contract, under the influence of the slightest touch, friction, pressure or massage. The contraction can be stopped by the repetition of stimuli that caused it. The subject appears to be in a deep sleep, the eyes are either closed or half closed, and their face is expressionless. The body appears to be in a state of complete collapse, the head is thrown back, and the arms and legs hang loose, dropping heavily down.

Catalepsy - A deeper level of hypnotic trance is catalepsy. In this state the subject becomes rigidly fixed in the position in which they were in when the entering catalepsy, whether sitting, standing, kneeling; Sometimes with an expression of fear on their face. Arms or legs may be raised, and will stay in the new position, unlike  when in a state of lethargy. Eyes are wide open, and facial expression are fixed and impassive. The fixed position lasts only a few minutes, however, when the subject returns to a position of relaxation, or drops back into the lethargic state.

Somnambulistic - This is the stage or phase of hypnotism nearest in appearance to a normal conscious state. To all appearances, the subject is fully awake, their eyes are open, and they answer when spoken to, as when awake. In this state the subject is susceptible to hallucinations which can be suggested by the hypnotist.


Steps of a Hypnotic Session

There are many ways to induce a trance state. However sessions with hypnotists follow the basic format presented here:

  1. Preparation
    Typically involves an explanation of what to expect when experiencing hypnotic trance and having the subject get comfortable.
  2. Induction
    The subject is given suggestions that guide them from normal awareness to a state of enhanced relaxation.
  3. Deepening
    Takes the subject from a very relaxed state into the fully "hypnotized" state, where conscious thinking is minimized and suggestions are more readily accepted.
  4. Purpose
    If the purpose of the hypnosis session is amusement, then this phase is when the subjects are asked to say or perform things that will entertain the audience. If the purpose is a therapeutic effect, this is when the subject is encouraged to see themselves as what they want to become, such as a non-smoker. If negative reinforcement is used, then this is when the subject is told that they will feel ill, or something similar, when the subject engages in the activity that they want to stop.
  5. Awakening
    The subject is guided out of the hypnotic trance and brought back to a state of normal awareness with the conscious mind fully active.

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